On the Agenda…

Okay. I normally don’t get political, or get on a soapbox about current events–but this shit has got to stop.

I’m talking about using a young man’s death to further one’s own political agenda. Yeah, it’s happening, and it makes me sick.

You have probably heard by now (unless you live in a cave somwhere–in which case, how do you get a good wifi signal??), but let me refresh your memory: a young student, just 18 years old, died in the process of trying to stop a gunman from shooting up his school. You may think well yeah, but what does that have to do with agendas? Let me tell you.

This student, as I said, was 18. He was, by law in most states, an adult…but because he was a student, people are calling him a “child” and using his tragic story to push their anti-gun rhetoric. This, in my book, is not okay.

Think about it: He knew that rushing the gunman would be risky. Dangerous. Deadly. He knew it. But you know what? This “child” made a very adult decision: risking his own life to save his classmates. And, when I look back at it, I can totally see how it might have played out in his head. He probably thought of himself as an adult, not a child. Yeah, to me–at almost 40–18 seems like forever ago. It seems so young. But for this “child”? Probably not so much. What fresh 18-year-old isn’t constantly thinking about how old they are, how they’re finally an adult? Able to vote, to serve, etc. To die, if need be. And I bet that’s what he was thinking. He was thinking about how he was an adult and his friends and classmates were mostly “children,” and he probably made a choice to sacrifice himself for them–because that’s the adult thing to do, right?

Okay, so it’s probably not the best decision. It’s never wise to rush an armed person unless you’ve had training in how to properly subdue and disarm them. I didn’t say it was a wise decision; I said it was an adult decision.

But I’ve seen many people who are focusing more on this young man’s student status, thus giving them the ability to dramatize the tragedy by calling him a “child” and demanding stricter gun control legislation. People are using this man’s death to put heat on the government and demonize the NRA…by saying he was a child.

Now, I’m not saying he wasn’t someone’s child. Everyone’s a child in their parents’ eyes, even after they’ve reached that magic age of maturity. That doesn’t give others the right to use his death to push their ideals.

To that young man, I say “Well done.” I’m not going to say that we should ban guns. I’m not going to say that the government is at fault. The government didn’t send that shooter into a school. The NRA didn’t endorse the shooter. Stop. Using. Someone’s. Death. To. Push. Your. Own. Agenda. Do I need to say it louder for the people in the back?

I know who the hero is in this story. I also know who the villains are.

They’re not the government. They’re not the NRA. They’re not the gun-rights lobbyists.

They’re the gun-control lobbyists. They’re the ignorant masses who want to diminish one man’s sacrifice to get their way. They’re the people who can’t get past their own self-righteous causes to see a man’s true worth.

One man. One brave man.

Kendrick Castillo, I salute the man you were. You didn’t get a chance to grow up into the man you could be, but you were grown-up enough to know right from wrong, and to put others’ lives before your own.